According to the Western Media the population of that part of East Aleppo that is still in rebel (read jihadi) hands is terrified at the thought that soon they will be in the clutches of the SAA and its Palestinian, Lebanese Shia and Iranian allies.
In fact they are flocking to the Syrian government to be evacuated to refugee centers where they are provided food, water, shelter and medical attention.
Fleets of buses are hauling them away from the combat area. Photographs are available of these civilians lining up to board the buses once they are able to escape from jihadi control. they tell reporters on the scene that they were used as human shields by the jihadis and fired on if they tried to leave the area of rebel control.
Does the Western MSM acknowledge that? It does not. Instead the media and most especially the mendacious and empty headed crews on shows like "Mornin' Joe" cleave to the memetic propaganda line of people like Susan Rice who yesterday insisted all over the Sunday Newsies that the great majority of rebels are secular and moderate and defenders of "our shared values."
Hey, Joe! I know your friends and neighbors in suburban Connecticut see Nazis and the Warsaw Ghetto everywhere but you should wise up. pl
Note to self: If I ever get sick, run to Aleppo. Every square inch is a hospital. See https://twitter.com/Charles_Lister/status/802614653029404672
Because they are “our” hostages and without them our cassus belli shrivels up like a herring on a hot sidewalk.
Hospital or kitten sanctuary.
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (they are anti-Syrian government) has just published an attempt to classify the rebels according to political views.
They acknowledge that most of the rebellion is driving by Islamists of different stripes but still try to paint the southern Deraa rebel groups as secular. Also there are some strange assumptions that village militias hostile to the government are overwhelmingly secular which nicely fluff up the secular numbers.
Let’s see if this analysis will impact the media story of who fights in Syria.
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy is full of Israelis. Why?
(forgot this part)
Why are Israelis setting US policy?
Because they can…..
MRW, I assume your question is rhetorical? Haven’t Isrealis/Dual Citizens been deeply embedded in US foreign policy formation at all levels for many years? In Goverment Executive Office (Perle, Feith, Wolfowitz, Ledeed, etc ad infinitum) at State, in Treasury (useful for determining who to embargo financially) in think tanks (such as Washington Institute for e.g.) lobby groups and perhaps especially in funding (or defunding those not compliant)political candidates for public office.
Of course it is anti-semitic to say this, and therefore it is not often said in polite society. I suspect this is part of the reason for the backlash which produced President Elect Trumps victory. I believe it was Pat Buchanan who described this situation as Israeli Occupied Territory, which I suppose was a somewhat more polite way of saying the more hateful Zionist Occupied Government. I’m washing my mouth out with soap – honestly)
There was a rather pathetic scene in the British parliament today – MPs booed and heckled a Foreign Office minister after he announced that the RAF would not be air dropping supplies into East Aleppo.
On a talk radio station, later in the day, a former pilot volunteered to fly a C-130 low, slowly and in a straight line over Aleppo (which would be necessary for the purposes of an air drop) if some of the louder MPs would accompany him.
It’s depressing that after 70 years it hasn’t dawned on some people that Britain is no longer an imperial power, and that there is a long list of things that need to be filed under “not our problem”. And top of that list are complex, far away, ethno-religious conflicts in which our interference can only cause more mayhem.
I do understand your suspicion wrt WINEP (that’s my first reaction also) but Fabrice Balanche has been writing some good articles on ISIS and some of them (in French) are eye-openers.
Just Goggle “fabrice balanche syrie”.
It seems someone (with a big Borg support) is hoping (you read sanctioned) for a color revolution, after Trump winning the election. The tool being used, is similar to Iranian 09 green color revolution,it starts with old “where is my vote” then recount for a few days, eventually call (bring) the suportes (troops) to street and claim police brutality claim someone was unjustifiably killed in street by the police/troops, demand regime change setup camps in DC mall. is it Soros ? if its the old Soros anyone know what color is he using this time? is Soros short for sore loser?
“Ride the Eagle’ is how the British bulldog got its post-imperial kicks. Hence the dismay of the British elite when Trump was elected.
Here’s how most of us in England see it:-
Straight disinformation. Some time ago Mr Cameron stated there were 70,000 moderate rebels fighting Assad in Syria. That number is no longer claimed and “rebel factions” may have displaced “moderates” as the preferred term but there is still no doubt who the good guys are. The bad guys, as before, are the Syrian government and their allies. In the article linked to I saw no mention of UN proscribed groups or their offshoots. The picture is of rebels, revolutionaries, or the “Syrian opposition” mentioned at the head of the article, engaged in a legitimate struggle and still hoping for a “peace deal”. That is how the BBC spins it.
Though nonsense, it’s powerful nonsense; I know from my own experience that most people reading this report will believe it to be a fair and accurate statement of the position. Most MP’s will believe it as well, or will at least be confident that their constituents believe it. That matters.
So how is it done? Does anyone know how this spin ends up being so uniformly distributed across the Western TV stations and newspapers? Is it done by consensus – a herd instinct that guides the journalists and those who brief them – or is it centrally co-ordinated?
Where are the U.S. reporters?
With all of this concern over Aleppo why aren’t CNN and the others on the ground looking at the situation for themselves rather than reading tweets from the White Helmets and that London based group? From what I have seen, it looks like Assad gives pretty decent access to govt held territory.
Forcing moderates to become extremists
This is a very common meme from western commentators but I have noticed that the exact opposite is true. In early 2015, during the Idlib offensive when the rebels were winning, Al Nusra’s influence was at a high point and this was before the Russian intervention. The only time any rebel groups started defecting was after Russian intervention and when they started losing. Also, it was the pressure of attacks that caused infighting among the rebels. So this statement is a classic case of something that sounds good but turns out not to be true if you actually pay attention to what happens.
@ Chris Chuba
Haven’t you see Richard Engel on Skype with a 7 y.o Syrian girl Bana Alabed?
Yep, her English is so perfect for someone whose mother tongue is Arabic and who has been under siege since 2012 when she was 3 y.o.
In addition , when the “regime” (sic) is bombing E Aleppo she is able to tweet ( thus availability of electricity and internet access when the SOHR is saying that people are dying from hunger).
This same Riched Engel who learned Arabic reporting from the street of the ME BUT can differentiate the Syrian accent of the government militia who took him as hostage from the Syrian accent of the activists who saved him and his crew.
I honestly don’t understand the logic of the war with Syria. I get it that some people don’t want Assad but to join hands with head choppers and calling them ‘moderates’ is not something I see as a long term result that can provide any benefits.
Even assuming the rebels had some sort of governance in the territories they held, it’s not a shining example of the kind of democratic RtP and other flim flam floated for the last couple of years.
Unless of course, the whole point of the exercise was to reduce the ME to a melange of balkanised and feuding tribes that are too small and too busy fighting each other to be a threat to any EU or Israeli interest?
IMO the effort to overthrow the Syrian government started as a attempt to project the R2P driven supposed “successes” of the Arab Spring. IMO the US instigated the revolt in Syria with the assistance of the Gulf States who sought a reversion to absolute Sunni control of the Levant. Once the thing got started Israel under the present government saw an opportunity to weaken Iran by destroying Iran’s main ally in Syria and as a result they have encouraged the US to persist in the policy of destroying the Syrian government through covert action and support to various rebel groups. pl
“Hillary Clinton claimed that United Nations peace efforts in Syria were based on “an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva.” The precise opposite is true. In 2012 Secretary of State Clinton joined Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in a successful effort to kill Kofi Annan’s UN peace plan because it would have accommodated Iran and kept Assad in power, at least temporarily. No one on the Milwaukee stage knew enough to challenge her.”
Very good article btw , even covering part of Chris Chuba questions above.
Having pondered the same question and, having tried to apply Occam’s Razor to it, I say centrally co-ordinated.
IMO the US instigated the revolt in Syria with the assistance of the Gulf States who sought a reversion to absolute Sunni control of the Levant.
I recall your warning voice, when I was fascinated by the ‘Arab Spring’. Glued to Al Jazeera’s live reports from Tahrir Square, in maybe the most important/interesting night. I also recall Patrick Bahzad’s contributions to Libya, or more precisely what he added around supportive parties to events …
Once the thing got started Israel under the present government saw an opportunity to weaken Iran …
Yes, admittedly, among the things surfacing on my mind more recently, I am no expert, my mind is aging, Israel was somewhat out of the top headlines: I wondered too if the humanitarian/medical aid by Israel to the ‘head-choppers’ may have had a larger political beyond purely humanitarian reason/aim. Beyond single events of air supports, verified? forget, earlier conflicts around UN troops at the border (?) …
Because Protestant Christians as well as the two major US political parties are in the same corner with State of Israel. This is a religious sentiment for which the United States has borne enormous costs and will likely continue to do so.
UK is another country in which the Protestant Christians are in love with all things Israeli.
There was a commentator on this forum by the name of Professor Kiracofe who wrote a book on this:
Iran, on the other hand, is the Country of Imam Hussein, who died on the path of Righteousness and Justice.
Is it any wonder then that US and Iran are at logger heads?
It is just another religious war by other names.
Syrian/Kurdish forces have advanced within 5 kms of Al Bab. Meanwhile the Sultan has declared he entered Syria to put an end to the ‘Assad regime’. We may see clashes between Syrian and Turkish forces in the next few days. The SyAAF has already hit Turkish backed rebels in Northern Aleppo.
In the interest of Rectification of Names:
“dis-information” means Lies.
It’s not just cable news. Earlier this morning I unsubscribed from an email newsfeed after reading their Aleppo story describing “moderate rebel fighters backed by the US”…
I read the Israeli English language press. Recent stories quote the IDF Chief as stating that the defeat of ISIS is not in Israel’s interest. Of course, none of this makes the “news” here in the US. All major US media organs push the administration’s false narrative of the Syrian conflict relentlessly.
This, and many other instances have lead me to the following only slightly exaggerated conclusion, which I try to push as an internet meme.
“The US has the second worst media in the world, behind only North Korea.”
Highest hospital density in the world … and a world class 4G connection all over Eastern Aleppo !
PL, good summary. Let me just add that the plan to weaken the “Shia Crescent” was probably designed way earlier than what most ppl think.
MRW, what is your take on the current minuscule interest rates on simple savings accounts. That is, one must invest in the stock market to make money these days. Is this an inevitable evolution of capitalism?
Yes, IMO you are absolutely corect, IMO this plan was drawn after defeat of Iraq and when west realized they made a mistake there, facilitating the linking.
DH, the low interest rates “saved” our economy in the short run. But we do not have this mechanism to save us when the next recession occurs.
By coincidence, earlier today I asked at a bank for the rate of interest that will be paid on a certificate of deposit for 6 or 12 months. The answer: 0.04% for a six month CD, and 0.10% for one year.
You have touched on part of the real threat to freedom and “national security”, which is the war on private savings. It is not the inevitable evolution of capitalism. If you have no savings or little ability to get savings, you have no financial independence and much less flexibility and freedom to act. This is part of the fraudulent financial system that has developed in the U.S., which has done and will do more harm to the population at large than such things as “terrorism”. The way the system is structured and has operated is way too lengthy an explanation for a comment, and trying to understand it is always a work in progress. But on the issue of bank interest rates, the villain is, as you might guess, the Not-Federal Reserve Bank.
The “Fed” is not a government agency and does not go to Congress each year for appropriations to operate. It is a private banking cartel that has its own enabling statute from Congress. The public has started to become aware of this, in part by the efforts of former U.S. Representatives Wright Patman and Henry B. Gonzalez of Texas, and then by former Rep. and presidential candidate Ron Paul, also of Texas. The free exchange of information through the public use of the Internet has provided a great boost to an understanding of the financial racket and the establishment of an oligopoly and oligarchy. The Fed now publicly admits that it is not a governmental agency, and is describing itself in language that George Orwell would recognize, as “a combination of public and private characteristics”, and “a blend of governmental and private characteristics”.
As part of the “characteristics”, the Fed was given some authority to regulate (ROFL) the banking and finance business. The public became more aware of this starting with the 2008 financial mess.
The short version is that through the Fed’s ability to write “regulations” about banking and finance, and its influence over the interest rate that banks charge each other for short term loans, the interest rate available for an individual savings account or certificate of deposit at a bank is centrally controlled nationwide. The result is that people who have saved a lot and were living in part on the interest generated by their savings can no longer use that income, and since prices have been rising each year more than what the Fed falsely tells the the public the rate of price inflation is, people start spending their savings in order to live day to day. And then their savings run out.
When your savings run out, they have a deal for you: a “reverse mortgage”. But that is another story and a slick scam.
Back to your question, here is a Federal Reserve internal report from 1955, “A Legal History of Federal Regulation of Payment of Interest on Deposits by Member Banks”. It starts on page 8 of the 41 page document, which can be downloaded–
Part of the war on private savings is the war on cash. As we speak, India is a laboratory to test ways to try to eliminate the use of cash and to control the ownership of gold. The evil campaign to end the use of cash has started in the U.S. Larry Summers has been one person floating the trial balloon. Another part of the propaganda is that using cash is “suspicious activity”.
The most powerful economy is a cash and savings economy, which the U.S.A. used to be. Keep your eyes and ears open.
You and PB are remarkable for your clarity and analysis. In earlier time, you would have been called Seers. And, what you post is the opposite of what the media feeds us.
This is not happenstance. The Sunnis in Mosul are harbingers of the fate of all minorities across the world as the Globalists destroy the governments that protect them. Thrown out of power people naturally fall back on their old-time religion and tribalism to fight back. In Syria, Sunnis were used as a proxy force to take down the government until a super state intervened to restrain the globalists. Without government dedicated to the protection of its people with justice for all and a strong militia, the inevitable revolt of the people from the internationalist’s looting will result in being bombed to hell. In the Levant, it is being conducted by every major air force in the world except India and China.
Kinzer is consistently good and the best at the Glub.
Thank you, Walter and Robert. I’ll look at that pdf and see if I can make heads or tails of it.
I don’t agree that India is a test lab for the war on cash. In the Us, the IRS seems pretty effective in tax collection. And enforcement.
In India, the major chunk of the economy is underground in the sense that it is outside the net of taxation. And there has been a culture of impunity. Also excessive savings in gold meant that this wasn’t invested in production. A case of too much of a good thing. This is the target of the demonetisation.
Its a huge risk by the gov’t. Economic activity in the farm and wholesale and retail trade sectors is at a virtual standstill due to shortage of cash. Conversely, bank holdings have swelled. those with huge hoards of cash are running scared.
It is early days yet and unclear how it will play out.
But comparisons with the US case are erroneous, I think…
Vanessa Beeley on that 7 y.o E Aleppo girl whose English is so perfect :
BTW: Daddy may be working for teh East Aleppo Council and whilst so many residents of E Aleppo are suffering from hunger and famine , little Bana and her family seem well-fed
The Mama of Exceptionalism is asking for more force in Syria:
“The United States should be prepared to employ air power, stand-off weapons, covert measures and enhanced support for opposition forces to break the current siege of Aleppo and frustrate Assad’s attempts to consolidate control over western Syria’s population centers,” the report said.
Let’s not forget that the Israelis were also involved from the beginning. It’s actually the stated reason why Hezbollah joined the fight – because it had become apparent to everyone that the Israelis were heavily involved in helping the jihadis in the south.
The way I read your comment it seemed as though you were suggesting the Israelis only got involved after the fact.
The Israelis have been “gunning” for the Syrian government for a long time. Wolfie led that charge even when I was still in guv. But, IMO they were late to this particular game. The Saudis and the sentimental fatheads like Robert Ford were at the center of the initial revolt. pl
Also an autocratic move by the government.
Now there is a new job in India; stand in line for someone else for a few rupees a day to change denominations.
It did create jobs.
As I said, its early days yet. There are a lot of jokes, snide comments regarding the move. However, there is a groundswell of support from the poor and the middle class.
As journalist Nalin Mehta puts it:
Yes, the government could have done many things better – as the farcically frequent changes to note-bandi rules testify – but what the liberal elite has been refusing to accept is that in pure political terms, Modi has been winning the argument so far. By presenting himself as a revolutionary change agent and tapping into people’s inchoate sense of civic duty by merging notions of national revival and sacrifice with their political imaginaries, Modi has encashed his political capital to construct an intoxicating narrative that has certainly bought him time. The big question now is: can he fix the pain quickly’
the political is always theological. The only question is what’theology’ the given state subscribes to.
I would qualify your comment by pointing out at most evangelicals are at most a necessary but not sufficient condition for pro-Israeli policy, and at least a complimentary force that have been captured by an already extant power structure.
Protestant Christians in Britain of the evangelical variety have a vanishly small political influence; so clearly the evangelical factor is a variable that enhances rather than generates support.
Modi is an excellent politician.
But when I compare him with the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, in terms of acting on promises made, Joko Widodo comes on top.
How can anyone in India seriously talk about “national sacrifice” when 750 million souls are subsisting on $ 1 a day or less – 500 million of which on substantially less than that?
I mean, they have been renting their wombs in India to the rich (some Indians, others largely foreigners) for the purposes of surrogacy and Modi talks about national renewal?
Best one can hope is for Modi to leave the scene before getting India into a useless and unwinnable confrontation with China or a war with Pakistan.